It’s our generation’s version of Blind Date and, this season, it’s more popular than ever, thanks to 30 wicked girls, one excellent host and of course, the Isle of Fernando’s. Thanks for saving Saturday night, Take Me Out!
But what’s it really like to be one of the 30 girls vying for dates each week? We spoke to Milly Flanagan, the 19-year-old from Oldham who made her name on the show during the first episode by showing off her ability to ‘clap’ her bum cheeks.
She told us about the bum clapping fallout, what Paddy’s like and what really goes on on the Isle of Fernando’s...
Hi Milly! Why did you decide to go on the show in the first place?
It was a bit of laugh! I was a bit drunk and crying over my ex-boyfriend – as you do – and my friends were like, ‘Milly, just apply for Take Me Out!’ So I did it as a joke – I didn’t expect to get on it!
What was the audition process like?
It was really... weird. We had to go to a hotel and do a mock-up of the show. I showed them my bum clap (more on that later) and everyone was like, ‘OH MY GOD’, but I didn’t expect to be made to do it on the show.
So what’s the filming process lke?
We have to stay in a hotel for two weeks while we’re filming it. We’d head off to the studio and have hair and make-up done. It was fab, I loved it! I’ve never had my make-up done before. Then we had a dress rehearsal, it was nerve-wracking but it meant we knew what to expect on the live show and stuff.
What about all the excellent one-liners you guys do – do you make them up yourself?
Oh, you make them all up yourself. Some of the things I come out with... I mean, you just have to say what comes into your head because otherwise it’s dead awkward. I’ve come out with some awful things already.
**Did you get scared on stage?
Well, the first rehearsal, my make-up artist was like, ‘Oh God Milly, you’ve sweated all your make-up off’. I was pooing my pants, I’m not going to lie. I think the audience is a big help because no-one was booing or anything like that, everyone was dead supportive. It was dead good.
And what’s it like in the dressing rooms with 30 girls getting ready?
It’s stressful, very stressful. I’m the most laid-back person ever, I hardly ever wear make-up so I’m not used to it really. But with everyone there, the tension was like, ‘Oh my God’. But we’re all like sisters now. Everyone got on really well.
So there’s no rivalries over who gets which guys?
No! I was proper panicking about that because I’ve got loads of boy mates. I’m not really a girly girl. But there were no rivalries at all. Everyone was just best friends. We’ve got this Whatsapp group, I can’t keep up with it. We’re all meeting up and stuff. It feels like a new family.
How do you decide what to wear?
They said to bring down your own outfits and on the first day we did a bit of a fashion show and they said yes, no, that’ll work, that won’t. So some girls ended up having all 10 dresses being their own and other girls were given something that was more suitable for the camera. I had a dress that got turned down, it was my favourite one as well, but it was too shiny for the cameras – it caused strobing in the dress rehearsal.
I mean, it sounds like a luxury – hair and make-up, personal styling...
It’s actually harder than you think! Mum was saying that, but I was absolutely shattered. We were on our feet all day thinking of things to say. It was the most tiring thing I’ve ever done.
** Do you have any idea who’s coming down the lift?**
NO idea. We never see them, never hear them, nothing. It’s a nice suprise, really. Sometimes....
Some guys are SO awkward
Yeah, there were some people who came down and were absolutely petrified and I was just like, ‘I’d eat you alive!’ Most of the time I tried to be nice and even if I didn’t like someone, I’d keep my light on as long as I could so they could get through the whole act, then I’d turn it off.
What’s Paddy like?
Oh my God, he’s amazing. I absolutely love him. He’s like our big brother. You’d think he had an act on when he’s on telly, but he’s even funnier in person and he’s so down to earth. He’d come and talk to us in the rehearsals and he got us all a Christmas present.
What did he get you?
He got us a little box of chocolates and on mine he wrote something like, ‘I’ll miss your bum cheeks’, it was so embarassing. He was dead funny.
Speaking of the bum clapping, what’s the response been like?
Oh. My. God. It’s been mental. There’s been such a mix of reactions. Half the people have been like, ‘Oh my Gosh, you need to marry me’ and the other people are like, ‘What! Look at the state of that’. Thankfully, I’m thick-skinned, I wouldn’t have gone on the show if I wasn’t. Some people are really nasty, though.
I can’t keep up with all the messages. People are like, ‘Milly...’ and I’m like, ‘Oh sorry, I didn’t read it’.
Have you had people trying to friend you on Facebook?
I think I had 318 friend requests after one show. I’ve had a load more followers on Twitter. I’m suprised my phone’s not packed in yet from all the messages.
So, from what you’ve heard, what really goes on in Fernando’s? Is it rampant shagging?
No, it’s the first time the boys meet the girls properly on their own and I don’t even think it’s allowed, to be honest. The girls have their own room and the boys have theirs and I think it’s very well behaved! On Fernando’s, anyways. Not sure about the reunion...
No spoilers, but do you reckon you’re going to find love on the show?
Well, I went on the show with an open mind, I only went on for a bit of fun and to meet new friends and things like that. And meeting a guy would just be a bonus. I don’t want to give anything away though, so you’ll have to watch!
Take Me Out is on ITV on Saturdays at 8PM
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.